Sunday, December 28, 2014

tin shack, rusted part 3

Strange, serpentine halls wound on and on, each twisting passageway refusing to meet another at anything resembling a right angle. The maze was monumentally huge, a monotony of patinaed corrugation and soft barely-sufficient light.

After some time, rusting barbed wire began to appear, knotting and branching organically across the walls. Like a surreal mockery of living vines, tangles of the stuff eventually encroached into the path and completely covered the sides.

Sans the map, it would have been frighteningly easy to wander about for days. As it was, they found one room after another, empty save for large pools of cold blood. Rutherford forced himself to remain vigilant and aware. Sandra absently toyed with a small red stone, her eyes knit in consternation. It took some few hours and cautious miles to get them to the furthest room. It was as empty as the rest.

“Well shit,” Rutherford complained. “We’re gonna have to go back through this whole damn place, tapping on the damn walls, searching the damn pools.”

“I think not,” Sandra replied pointing to the right. “Look.”

Rutherford squinted, “Ya. It’s what five or ten feet shorter than the other rooms, ain’t it?”

“Yes, and besides, two snakes were taken here.”

A sudden cacophony came screaming through the halls. Hundreds of yards of rusted wire scraped against echoing metal walls, rattling, screaming, screeching. Sharp, shrill sounds promising pain resonated through the huge, empty space.

In almost one motion, Rutherford shoved Sandra to the side, launched himself backwards, and fired a few pointless bullets at the barbed wire thing coalescing in the doorway.

Sandra screamed something as Rutherford rolled to his feet and ran. The terrible rasping thing flowed after him. He paused for a moment at the back wall then dove right; the ductile monstrosity crashed into the infinite tin without slowing. It was only a footstep behind him when he began to smell brimstone.

“The BLOOD!” screamed Sandra.

He turned and dove for the deep pool. The creature was glowing with heat and near incandescence. Blanketing steam and the smell of burnt meat filled the air. Rutherford finally came up to breath, and the barbed horror tried to rush towards him.

It shattered under its own insistence of movement. The formerly ductile behemoth cracked with a multitude of crystalline chimes, splashing noisily into the repugnant pool.

“Well that is about the loudest damn thing I ever heroically ran away from!” Rutherford declared in the deafening quiet that followed.

He crawled out of the sanguine pool to find Sandra Ellen sitting against a tin wall. She was shaking noticeably and trying not to cry. Sandra held out her smoking right hand and with some effort pried open her fist. An ember glowing stone fell from her horribly burnt palm.

“That’s the longest I’ve ever held a Bloodfire stone,” she spat out, short of breath.

Rutherford uncharacteristically said nothing but offered her a flask of whiskey and a roll of bandages. She took the flask and gave it back empty. Only then did she loosely dress her wound.

“I don’t suppose you have any laudanum in that sack?” she asked.

“Wouldn’t ya know,” he replied offering her a hand up, “already drank it.”

The eastern wall proved to be foil thin and bent back to reveal a small, well lit library. A library dominated by a long, roughhewn table. On which a single volume lay, open and shining with an unreal opalescence.

Sandra Ellen forgot her pain for a moment and ran to stand in awe before the glimmering tome.

“The Book of Shared Secrets,” she whispered. “We may actually win.”

No comments:

Post a Comment